Summer is almost here, and I know you are ready and rearing to get outside and soak up the warmth of the sunshine. However, in your quest to get that perfect summer tan, it may be wise to consider the consequences of over-exposure to the sun’s UV rays and the damage that can affect your skin in many ways.
Prolonged sun exposure is not necessarily limited to sunburn, peeling, stinging redness or heat rash. Studies show that harmful UV rays from the sun can also alter the DNA and predispose the body to various health issues and possibly cancer.
Sun tanning, and sunbathing can also result in long-term skin conditions such as:
- Skin aging
- Dark spots
While a broad spectrum sunscreen protects the skin from the sun’s harmful rays, Science suggests that treating the skin with sun-block alone may not be adequate enough to prevent long-term damage to the skin.
Get additional coverage by applying sunscreen with your makeup at the same time. A good rule to follow: apply topical medications if in use, moisturize, and apply sunscreen and then your makeup. This is most effective if it is done at least 30 minutes before you plan to go outside. Also, remember to reapply sun-block at least every two hours, especially if you sweat a lot or go swimming or wipe down regularly throughout the day.
Here are some other practical beauty tips to prevent skin damage:
Take Care Of Your Skin All Year-Round
- Know your skin type: Are you fair, light, etc. do you burn easily? Are you prone to dark spots and moles? Knowing your skin’s risk factors is your best defense to apply the right methods for skin protection.
- Moisturize your skin: Practice keeping your skin well moisturized, even if it does not look dry. Regular moisturizing will promote healthy, glowing skin and help keep the skin hydrated. Coconut and jojoba oils are also great for the skin since they help seal in the skin’s moisture and help soothe and repair sunburn skin.
- Exfoliate your skin: Exfoliating your skin helps slough off dead cells that make the skin look dull and dry. At least twice per week, gently clean the skin with naturally exfoliating products that contain grains like oatmeal to help the skin to regenerate and reduce the signs of aging.
- Feed your skin: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants help reduce the damaging effects of the sun. Avoid smoking, since it produces damaging molecules in the skin that can increase the risk of skin cancer.
- Get your zzzs: Lack of sleep increases the levels of stress hormones which may slow down the production of collagen in the skin. When the skin stops producing collagen, it loses its elasticity and starts to look tired and worn.
- Keep hydrated: Drinking lots of water will keep you cool, and flush toxins from the skin. Skin that is well- hydrated is less prone to damage from the sun.
Protect Your Lips
Your lips are also vulnerable to the sun’s damaging rays. Keep them moisturized and protected by applying a lip balm or sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Protect Your Eyes
Always wear sunglasses to help protect the delicate skin around the eyes from fine lines and wrinkles. Choose eyewear that will block at least 90-100% of the sun’s UV rays. Wrap- around sunglasses help block out extra UV rays from around the sides and prevent the eyes from contracting cataracts and other eye disorders that can cause blindness. It is recommended that you wear sunglasses even if outside is hazy.
Use Your Head
Wear a hat to shade exposed skin in vulnerable areas like the face, ears and the back of the neck. A good choice is one that is at least 4” in diameter and tightly woven to block out rays.
Wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants to protect the skin from the sun’s burning rays. Loose-fitting, tightly woven, with dark colors, are best.
Follow Your Shadow
Stay in the shade wherever possible. If your shadow is too short, then you need to find a shadier spot. Use an umbrella or stay under a tree to help reduce overexposure to the sun.
Watch The Weather
Don’t just rush outside because the sun is up! Check daily temperatures for the coolest times of the day to help beat the heat. Peak times for intense heat are usually between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
You May Also Like To Read: What Skin Brighteners Actually Do To The Skin?
Sunshine can be your friend or foe. While we all need sunshine, overexposure can result in aging skin, fine lines and wrinkles or more seriously, skin cancer. A consistent skin care regimen is your best line of defense.